he displayed the vast wealth of
his kingdom and
the splendor and glory of
Esther 1:4 NIV
Today's lesson reminded me of another king who lived 200 years before Xerxes. King Hezekiah. A King of Judah who thought nothing of showing messengers from Babylon "all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures."
Our church did the Bible Study "Life Principles from the Kings of the Old Testament" in the fall of 2006. I loved studying the kings of the Old Testament. I'm not sure why... perhaps because everything tasted sweeter after "The Dark Night of My Soul" in early 2006.
Anyway, Hezekiah, Day 4 talked about "Stumbling in the Crisis of Prosperity." Some of the thoughts shared in the study were..."Until Hezekiah had shown them the treasury, Babylon probably thought little of Judah and Jerusalem... Nothing good ever comes from bragging."
Hezekiah didn't have to shoulder the consequences, but it didn't turn out too great for his descendants.
2 Kings 20:12-21 (NIV)
Envoys From BabylonAt that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah's illness. Hezekiah received the messengers and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, "What did those men say, and where did they come from?"
"From a distant land," Hezekiah replied. "They came from Babylon."
The prophet asked, "What did they see in your palace?"
"They saw everything in my palace," Hezekiah said. "There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them."
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD : The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."
"The word of the LORD you have spoken is good," Hezekiah replied. For he thought, "Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?"
As for the other events of Hezekiah's reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Hezekiah rested with his fathers. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.